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The Lauderdale

It's FFN, so working with someone else's source material is kind of a given. But I thought it might be fun/interesting to have a thread on the subject, looking more broadly (or more narrowly, depending) than just the category listed under a given fic. Like -

Who or what are some of the influences in your writing, stylistically or plot-wise? Ever start a fic in response to a story you loved, or one you really really didn't? Are there overt references in your oeuvre? Are you proud of a particular quote, direct or paraphrased, you worked into your work...or sad that no one ever noticed? Do you do more purposeful homage, or more critical commentary? Or less intentional - ever write something you thought was totally you, only to go, "Dang! I recognize this!" afterward?

Etcetera.

12/26/2011 . Edited 12/26/2011 #1
militaryhistory

Ever start a fic in response to a story you loved, or one you really really didn't?

Yes to the latter. Two of my LOTR stories were written in response to fics that didn't quite seem to fit the Tolkienverse. "Stealing a Silmaril" was written in response to "Down Like Rain," a fic I read because it was on the TV Tropes fanfic rec page. I did not think it told the story of how Luthien and Bern took the Silmaril from Morgoth properly, so I decided to tell it myself. "Never Off Guard" was written both in response to a particular scene in Fellowship of the Ring, and a fic called "Catching a Steward Off His Guard," which reprised that scene with Faramir and Eowyn. I thought these scenarios unlikely at best, so I wrote a fic that detailed how I thought such an occurrence would actually turn out.

12/26/2011 #2
The Lauderdale

Haw! I nearly mentioned "Down Like Rain" when I reviewed your story for the MEFAs. 8D

12/26/2011 #3
militaryhistory

In what way?

12/26/2011 #4
The Lauderdale

Passingly, as another story that had dealt with the same scenario. I didn't end up comparing particulars, although obviously they're both extremely different in tone and focus.

12/26/2011 #5
Just a Wili

My case, I think, is a little bit different. I started writing fics to see if I could make sense in English. I learned a lot, BTW; the best moments were when I got my chapters from my beta and could compare my own text with her corrections.

12/27/2011 #6
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Are there overt references in your oeuvre?

Hell yes -- I know how to steal from the best. Almost too numerous to mention here. I work imagery from Yeats in all the time.

Ever start a fic in response to a story you loved, or one you really really didn't?

Two instances bear mentioning. The first was a story I adored -- Darth Fingon's Caruvanyes Alassenen. There was a scene at the end where a very young Thranduil is comforted by Gil-galad and Elrond as he watches his father's body, which has been staked out by the orcs after the battle of the Dagorlad, set alight. It's a good story and a moving image, but I didn't think it would go that way, so I created an alternate scenario in a story called The Rose In the Fisted Glove, in which the causes of the disaster are more complex, and a grieving Thranduil tells Elrond that he may forgive but he will never forget. I went on from there to become one of the major Silvan apologists. The uneasy relationship between Oropher and Thranduil in Darth's story also influenced my view of them. I had previously assumed Oropher to be a cold and uncaring father, but it made me take a second look.

The second instance was in response to a story I absolutely loathed for several reasons -- not the least of which was a slander to Thranduil's character. Ultimately, I re-wrote the scenario of Legolas as a 'courtesan' to keep him (and Tolkien's world) in character as much as possible. I took a great risk by writing it under my primary pen name and including it in my official 'verse', and i damn near got burned at the stake when the 'pay-off' chapter was posted. The story is called Strange Stars. It is not for the faint of heart.

I find it very interesting how those stories that challenge you in some way prove to be the most inspiring

12/27/2011 #7
Ragnelle

I guess listing Tolkien as one of my influences are rather redundant since I play in his sand-box... But he is, not just for the world and characters.

I have written one story in response to a scene in the LotR-movies that I did not like. There were many such moments, but only one scene that annoyed me enough to write a stroy. It was at the time fittingly named "The Revenge of Éomer". I changed it later to "Equus" - a direct reference to Monty Robbert's work with horse-comunication: he calls the language use use to communicate with horses Equus, and I lean heavily on his work in the story. I found the scene in the extended version of TT where Aragorn pwns the Rohirrim at horsewispering and makes them looks stupid, ludicrous. They are the Horselords! I find it utterly improbable that none of them are able to calm a horse, and then they are stupid enough to let it loose with halter and lead-rope still attached! Gah!

So in my story it is of course Éomer that are able to tame the wild horse that Elrohir can't ;) It became one of my more popular one-shots.

Of influences outside my chosen fandom, I am probably most influenced by my story-telling teachers, Jan Blake and Hugh Lupton (both English story-tellers) in particular. Jan because she has been a very important teacher for me, the one I kept going back to to learn despite the blood and tears. She had this amazing talent for pinpointing all your weakest spots and making you work on that. And she has a presence and energy on stage that I needed to find for myself.

Hugh Lupton I have not worked with that much, but he is my favourite story-teller with a style that I love. Particularly his work with language and words - he is a poet as well - has influenced me a lot just from example, though I have been lucky enough to work with him too. His "Praise-songs" inspired me to try out 2nd person narratives, among other things.

There is one phrase that I love, that I have stolen from yet another (English) story-teller: Ben Haggarty. It is the phrase: "He must have slept, because he woke up" (or "He must have slept, for he dreamt" - I am not too particular with exact wording).

12/30/2011 #8
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

I found the scene in the extended version of TT where Aragorn pwns the Rohirrim at horsewispering and makes them looks stupid, ludicrous. They are the Horselords! I find it utterly improbable that none of them are able to calm a horse, and then they are stupid enough to let it loose with halter and lead-rope still attached! Gah!

Um, yeah, I know. It was supposed to show Aragorn's Elvish blood and training and his way with all good beasts. But it made the Rohirric grooms look like proper fools.

We all bridle at having our favorite characters treated that way. My moment is when Legolas stands up at the Council of Elrond and blurts out in front of everyone that Aragorn, whose identity had previously been kept discreetly secret, is Isildur's heir. It was a short-cut to necessary exposition, but it made Legolas (and by extension, all the Silvan elves) look so dumb he couldn't walk and chew gum at the same time.

12/30/2011 #9
The Lauderdale

I was annoyed by the general "dumbifying" of the Orcs, particularly Grishnákh: turning him into a clueless dolt who's just out to eat hobbits and, later, messily kill them. Guhhhh...

12/30/2011 #10
Thranduil Oropherion Redux

Well, PJ 'comic relief-ified' the Dwarves in LOTR and seems to be rectifying that in The Hobbit. One wonders how he'll handle the Goblins.

12/30/2011 #11
AltearazCreator

the Dwarves

The Dwarf*. Can't be arsed with makeup for multiple Dwarves for more than one scene, and then only one actor was blustery enough to speak. My favourite Gimli-ism is in Lothlorien. "I have the eyes of a hawk and ears of a fo- Oh!" *drawn bow in his face*

12/30/2011 . Edited 12/30/2011 #12
The Lauderdale

One influence on me was Mary Gentle's very ungentle Grunts, which rather gruesomely parodies LOTR and old war movies. Typical Orkish battle-fodder in the usual "Last Battle" between Good and Evil discover a dragon's cache of enspelled transdimensional weaponry (including U.S. and British military weaponry), which causes them to start taking on the stereotypical traits of modern-day marines.

Outside of Tolkien's Orcs, this is still my favorite depiction of Orcs by a commercially published author. I just like the way they are portrayed. They are unapologetically Orkish: crude (four letter words and unsavory practices abound) and cruel (the rape and slaughter of a baggage train, a cavalier disregard for life in general). Yet they maintain a claim on readerly sympathy: they are the crap beneath the shoe of their Dark Lord, screwed over by the forces of Good and Evil alike, and they are understandably keen on surviving the crappy situation that they were born into. They're tough, they're NOT stupid, and they maintain a (rather nasty) sense of good humor that makes them weirdly likable.

12/30/2011 . Edited 12/30/2011 #13
Nimbus Llewelyn

I've been greatly influenced by many things, but the Discworld series, H2G2TG (Douglas Adams) and the Dresden Files.

2/1/2012 #14
Nimbus Llewelyn

The Dwarf*. Can't be arsed with makeup for multiple Dwarves for more than one scene, and then only one actor was blustery enough to speak. My favourite Gimli-ism is in Lothlorien. "I have the eyes of a hawk and ears of a fo- Oh!" *drawn bow in his face*

Mine was during the 3 hunters scenes: "I'm not built for cross country running! We dwarves are natural sprinters! Very dangerous over short distances!"

2/1/2012 #15
Nimbus Llewelyn

Are there overt references in your oeuvre?

When I narrate, I tend to use a dry sarcastic style reminiscent of Pratchett, Adams or (to some extent) Northanger Abbey. A lot of my protagonists take on certain Harry Dresden like characteristics. 'Oh God Not Again' is a definite influence.

EDIT: *headdesk* I sneak in as many references as possible from everything from Buffy to LOTR to the Dresden Files to Arthurian Mythology. And then wait to see if anyone gets it.

5/22/2012 . Edited 5/22/2012 #16
The Lauderdale

We were talking about The Little Prince in another thread, and I remembered I have an allusion to it in Treed. Or not an allusion per se, because the circumstances just aren't the same, but I had it in mind.

Long they had been at a cold scent. They had traveled at a spidered crawl, combing out across the terrain in an effort to rediscover the trail they lost when they found the dead Elf. It was brutally slow progress. Sometimes they would hit on a lucky trace of the two Orcs, losing it and finding it again as the terrain changed and the earth became stony or soft, but there was never anything to indicate that a girl was with them.

No body was recovered either, and Fírhador continued to hope. Please Rodyn, she is my child. Please, it is not so strange that we should find no signs of her with them. She is too small and slight to leave a trace.

The narrator's reference to the little prince's body at the end ("I know that he did go back to his planet, because I did not find his body at daybreak. It was not such a heavy body...") has always wrenched me a little inside.

I also use a reference to Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones at one point, not because I especially like the book, but because I think the title is beautiful and it is a relevant book to invoke, thematically speaking.

He would accept no condolences for his daughter. He would not believe what the Orc had said. "I would have found her. We would have found her body," was all he would say, and he shook his head in a continuous disavowal.

The others said nothing. Even Túchir did not invoke the obvious: her remains dragged away after the butchery, short work for the scavengers. The sundering of her body, her lovely bones, strewn and scattered in the night.

6/10/2012 . Edited 6/10/2012 #17
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